A jilted lover bludgeoned his ex-fiancée to death with a rolling pin while their baby lay asleep in their home, a court heard.
Adam Singer, 29, killed Sally Harrison, 24, because they had split and she planned to leave him and take the 21-month-old girl, it was said.
The couple had broken up and were still living together and Sally was set to move out with their daughter, Plymouth Crown Court heard.
But Singer was so angry he took a rolling pin from his catering firm job and battered her to death at their home in Plymouth, Devon, on April 4 last year, it was alleged.
He had already ”joked” to colleagues about murdering someone with a rolling pin – and killed her with a series of blows to the skull, the court heard.
Singer, of Salisbury, Wilts, has pleaded not guilty to the murder but prosecutor Simon Laws described it as “pre-meditated and brutal”.
He said: “On the 4th of April last year, this defendant killed a young woman called Sally Ann Harrison who he was in a relationship with.
“It was a pre-meditated and brutal murder. He attacked her in such a way that she would not survive. He used a commercial rolling pin that he had taken from his place of work.
“His motive was this – he and Sally were separating and he wanted their young daughter to live with him.
“He knew this was unlikely and he took the law into his own hands with fatal consequences.”
The court heard how the pair met in 2006 before moving into a flat together in Devonport, Devon, in May 2010.
They had their child Isabella, also known as Izzy, in July 2010 but are believed to have split in February 2012, although they continued living together while Miss Harrison looked for somewhere else to live.
Mr Laws said Singer had “joked” with friends about murdering Miss Harrison with colleagues where he worked, ESS catering firm at HMS Drake naval base in Plymouth.
He added: “Despite the relationship coming to an end, they continued to live together at the flat.
“But they both began to see other people – he had a new girlfriend and she had a new boyfriend.
“It then became clear that it could not go on and Sally was to move out, she intended to take Izzy with her.
“However, he wanted the child and took a very uncompromising view on the subject and spoke to his colleagues about it.
“At some point his mind turned to a disgusting and shocking solution, he was to bring the custody hearing to an end by killing Sally and on April 4 he did just that, battering her with an instrument at home.”
Mr Laws told the court that Singer desperately attempted to fool the police by leaving the home at 9pm after the killing and returning at around 3am to “find” her dead.
He also sent a text message to Miss Harrison saying he would be home late and would “try not to wake her”.
Mr Laws said Singer had spoken to friends about killing Sally and also killing himself, although he told police he was joking.
He told the court of a conversation Singer had at work with colleague Keith Johnson.
Mr Laws said: “In the galley with Keith Johnson, he was holding one of the four rolling pins and was waving it around.
“He caught Mr Johnson’s peak of his cap and it gave him a shock, he asked Mr Johnson if he thought it would kill someone, to which he replied that it would.
“He then asked how he might hit someone with it, to the top of the head or to the side, to which Mr Johnson replied that he did not know and walked away.
“The fact is, whoever killed Sally Harrison did so by striking her with blows with a rolling pin from HMS Drake and that person did so to the side and to the top of the head.”
Mr Laws said that Singer first denied to police he had taken the rolling pin, before saying he did take it “to do some baking” with Miss Harrison and their daughter.
The jury were shown images of the scene of the crime and told that Izzy was upstairs at the time of the murder.
Police found specks of blood in her room and on her cot although the child is believed to have slept through the ordeal.
It was also said that Singer told close friend Simon Gotham that he was “stood at the end of her bed with the rolling pin in his hands but he didn’t have the balls”.
The court heard that Mr Gotham did not take this seriously, and a day later, Miss Harrison was dead.
Mr Laws described Miss Harrison, from Plymouth, Devon, as a well liked and popular young woman.
He added that from the night of her killing two items were never recovered, the rolling pin and her mobile phone.
The trial, which is expected to last three to four weeks, continues.